10 AWESOME Link Building Tools [2023 Reviews]
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10 AWESOME Link Building Tools

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

10 AWESOME Link Building Tools

You’re about to see the 10 best link building tools.

In fact, I’ve used these exact tools to get backlinks from sites like Entrepreneur.com:

Entrepreneur – Backlinko backlink

And even Forbes:

Forbes backlink

With that, it’s time to reveal my favorite link-building and outreach tools.

1. Semrush

World’s fastest backlink discovery platform.

Semrush is my go-to tool for all things SEO.

Including link building.

Semrush should be your go-to tool for all link-building activities

What makes Semrush unique is the quality of its backlinks data.

Apart from links, Semrush also has a TON of other features like:

Their interface is clean and easy to navigate through all their tools.

Pricing: $119.95-$449.95 per month

My favorite feature: Link Building Tool

Semrush comes with a built-in outreach tool.

You can find prospects, prepare your outreach sequence, and track your campaigns in minutes.

Tracking your campaigns

It also keeps a tab on your backlinks and notifies you if they’re removed.

Monitoring domains

If you want to learn more about other features of Semrush, check out my Semrush guide.

The bottom line

If you can only invest in one link building tool, it should be Semrush.

2. Respona

Full-suite link building outreach platform.

Respona is a powerful link building outreach platform.

Respona tool

There are LOTS of pre-built campaigns to choose from.

A few of my favorites are:

  • Skyscraper Technique – you input competitor articles, they give you a list of URLs linking to them.
  • Product Review – you input competitor domains, they give you a list of blogs that recently reviewed them.
  • Guest Post – you input topics, they give you a list of websites accepting guest posts.
  • Podcast Outreach – you input a person in your industry, they give you all the podcasts they’ve been featured on.
  • Resource pages – you input keywords, they give you top resource listicles on those topics.

Once you choose a template, it walks you through the entire process – from finding high-quality opportunities and getting contact info to sending personalized emails.

Find opportunities from this template

Pricing: $99-$399 per month

My favorite feature: Automated contact finder

Respona automatically finds the right person for each website – including their verified email and Linkedin profile.

No more reaching out to support emails.

Simplified outreach


The bottom line 

Respona is a powerful link building platform for agencies and in-house teams. Its automation features save a ton of time while running outreach campaigns at scale.

3. Pitchbox

Use workflows that walk you through the outreach process.

Pitchbox is an outreach platform built for advanced link builders.

Pitchbox outreach platform

Once you start a campaign, it walks you through all the steps to find prospects and grab contact info.

Steps to find prospects

What’s neat about Pitchbox is that several people can participate in the same campaign.

For example, you can delegate specific team members to ONLY compose emails and others – ONLY to personalize them.

Pricing: $550-$1500 per month (annual commitment)

My Favorite Feature: Metrics Filters

This feature helps filter your results by specific quality metrics.

You can filter by Majestic Citation Flow & Trust Flow, and Moz metrics (Page Authority and Domain Authority).

Majestic filters feature

The Bottom line

Pitchbox combines “easy to use” and “powerful features” into a single piece of link building software. It is not the cheapest tool out there, but I highly recommend it if you have a large outreach team.

4. Buzzstream

Keep track of your relationships.

BuzzStream is an outreach CRM that helps you stay organized with link building.

BuzzStream CRM

Instead of spreadsheets and random Gmail inboxes, you can use BuzzStream to track conversations and manage campaigns across multiple projects.

Arguably the best feature of the entire platform is the Buzzmarker Chrome extension.

It automatically scans the site you’re on for any email address or contact page.

Buzzmarker Chrome Extension

Pricing: $24-$999 per month

My Favorite Feature: Custom Fields

I view custom fields as the bread and butter of BuzzStream. They let you organize and customize campaigns in any way you want.

My favorite custom field is the Relationship Stage. It means: “what is our current status with that person?”

Relationship Stage

BuzzStream has many other cool features I didn’t have room to cover here. But if you want to learn more, I recommend reading my BuzzStream review.

The bottom line

BuzzStream is one of my favorite link building CRMs. If you do a lot of outreach or work with a team of link builders, it can help you keep track of your outreach.

5. Hunter

Find accurate email addresses in seconds.

After trying over 25 different tools for finding contact info, I can confidently say that Hunter.io is one of the best.

It’s lightning-fast, and the contact info you get from it is insanely accurate.

Find contact emails fast

That’s because Hunter doesn’t just scrape a single website for email addresses. Instead, it pulls data from several different sources.

Hunter scrapes multiple sites

Pricing: Free-$399 per month

My Favorite Feature: Email Verification

Hunter automatically verifies each email that it gives you:

Verifies all emails

That way, you know the inbox is still active BEFORE you hit “send.”

(You can also bulk upload email addresses for verification.)

The bottom line

When it comes to finding email addresses for outreach, it’s hard to beat Hunter’s accuracy.

6. HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

Get featured in upcoming news articles.

HARO is the PR industry’s version of Tinder.

You can connect with bloggers and journalists who need sources while getting links and exposure for yourself.

HARO - the digital industry's Tinder

How does it work?

Once you register as a source, HARO sends you daily emails with dozens of questions from writers needing expert insights.

Insightful questions from HARO

For example:

I saw a question from a writer asking: “What’s the difference between graphic design and web design?”

So I responded with this pitch:

A sample pitch

A few days later, I got this link from an education site (76 authority score).

A positive pitch response

Not too bad.

Pricing: Free – $149/month.

My favorite feature: Head Start

Time is of the essence when responding to HARO questions.

Your pitch is much more likely to be seen if you’re among the first respondents.
“Head Start” (paid feature) notifies you of press opportunities before everyone else.

The bottom line

HARO is one of the best ways to build high-authority backlinks at scale.

7. Buzzsumo 

Discover influential bloggers in your niche.

Even though BuzzSumo is designed for content marketing, many SEO pros use it too.

Here’s how:

First, BuzzSumo makes it easy to create content that people WANT to link to.

BuzzSumo eases content analysis

Second, you can use BuzzSumo to find influencers in your niche that recently shared your competitor’s content:

Competitor analysis

(Which means they’re likely to share your stuff… and link to it.)

Pricing: $119-$999 per month.

My Favorite Feature: Brand Mentions

Think of Buzzsumo’s “Brand Mentions” as Google Alerts on steroids.
You can create a brand alert for you and your competitors.

Create brand alert

And it’ll show you new blogs and news articles that mention your brand.

See results mentioning your brand

You can also filter mentions without links:

Mentions without links

Easy peasy.

Buzzsumo offers a ton of other features than what I covered here. If you’re looking to learn more, I suggest reading my guide to Buzzsumo.

The bottom line

Sure, BuzzSumo isn’t designed for link building. But as you just saw, you can still use it to get white-hat links to your site. Recommended.

8. Ahrefs 

Backlink data is powered by one of the world’s most active crawlers.

Ahrefs is a link building software designed for SEO pros.

Ahrefs link building software for SEO

Much like Semrush, it also has a lot of features that have nothing to do with link building, like:

If you’re having a hard time deciding between Ahrefs and Semrush, check out my detailed comparison guide.

Pricing: $99-$999 per month

My Favorite Feature: Content Explorer

Ahrefs content explorer is a mini search engine for link builders.

For example, here’s a search I run every month to find mentions of Backlinko:

Ahrefs tool snippet

Then I use the “highlight unlinked mentions” to filter the sites that have never linked to me:

Sites not linking

Here’s an example:

Example of a site not linking to Backlinko

In my experience, a friendly “can you please link to us?” email can turn those unlinked brand mentions into legit backlinks:

Asking for a backlink

The bottom line

Ahrefs is the go-to SEO tool for pros. It’s a solid alternative to Semrush if you don’t mind the more complicated interface.

9. Moz Link Explorer

Reverse engineer your competitor’s backlinks.

Moz Link Explorer is the flagship feature of Moz Pro.

Moz Link Explorer

Let me show you how it works.

First, you pop a competitor’s domain (or specific URL) into it:

Enter your URL

And you can see all of their backlinks:

See all backlinks from a specific URL

You also get link metrics, like the site’s Domain Authority:

Pricing: $99-$599 per month

My Favorite Feature: Anchor Text Analysis

Quickly see the most common anchor text in a site’s backlink profile:

See anchor text

Why is this helpful?

Well, if you see lots of exact-match anchor text, that’s usually a sign of black hat link building.

The bottom line

Moz Link Explorer is the third-best link analysis tool on the market. That said, a Moz subscription comes with several other tools (like an on-page grader) that can make the investment worthwhile.

10. Majestic 

Link analysis on a budget.

Majestic is yet another backlink analysis tool.

Majestic link analysis tool

It has the features you’d expect… like the number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text analysis.

Majestic awesome features

Pricing: $49-$399 per month

My Favorite Feature: Topical Trust Flow

This metric measures how many links a site has from a set of highly-trusted “seed” websites.

Topical trust flow

(It’s basically Majestic’s version of TrustRank.)

I recommend checking out my Majestic review if you want an in-depth overview.

The bottom line

Majestic SEO has a massive link database. But the UX is ancient and hard to use. That said, you definitely get your money’s worth at $50/month.

Bonus: Google 

Find link building prospects for free.

Okay, this one isn’t a tool in the same sense as other items on this list.

But good ‘ol Google has the world’s largest index of websites – making it a gold mine of link-building opportunities.

Google as a link-building tool

Pricing: Free

My Favorite Feature: advanced search operators

Google search operators give superpowers to your searches.

Google superpower in URL search

Here are the most useful operators for link building:

  • inurl:” – only returns results with specific words/phrases in the URL.
  • intext:” – specifies keywords or phrases mentioned in the content.
  • intitle:” – same as intext, but only applies to the results’ titles.

For example:

SEO inurl:resources

It returns resource pages about SEO, where you can pitch your content to be included.

Like this one:

Link building resource opportunity

Very cool.

The bottom line

Google search operators are the easiest way to find link building opportunities.

Any Tools That I Missed?

Those are my top 10 link building tools.

The question is:

How do you choose the best one for you?

Here’s a quick checklist to help you decide:

  • What budget do I have to work with?” – If you’re so shoestring that you can’t afford shoestrings, Google searches are always free. That said, outreach tools usually make the process faster and more efficient.
  • How many people need to use the tool?” – If you’re the only one who builds links, then you don’t need to worry about user accounts and features designed for teams. But if you do outreach with a team, tools like Semrush or Respona are a must.
  • How many links can I see?” – Backlink analysis tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs give you the most competitor link data. Others might be cheaper… but you get what you pay for.
  • How important is reporting?” – Are you reporting to clients? If so, detailed (and nice-looking) reporting features can be massively helpful.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

Which tool on this list is your personal favorite?

Or maybe there’s a tool you love that I didn’t mention here.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


  1. Alan Avatar Alansays:

    Great guide, thanks Brian! Just curious, are there any negative side effects to using a list service like “Guest Post Tracker” these days?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Alan, good question. You definitely want to carefully review each site before guest posting. It’s possible there are some spammy-ish sites on the list.

  2. This is a great list and came at just the right time as link building is getting more and more difficult (especially with all these updates!).

    Ahrefs is an invaluable tool I use every day, for link research and even for keyword research now.

    Another great tool created by the creator of Guest Post Tracker is a tool called SEOJet. It helps you really sort out your anchor text ratios down to the most specific types of text you should be using for each link you build.

    Thanks again for the list!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Kenny. I actually didn’t realize the same team made SEOJet. Nice!

  3. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for yet another valuable post. This is super useful. Honestly, for a newbie like me link building is overwhelming as it is. So I never thought beyond Ahrefs. :-). But good to know there are so many tools out there.

    Just curious, what are your thoughts on Alexa’s Competitor Backlink checker. I understand Alexa may not be big yet, but they are making lot of noise. Please note, I have not tried it personally.

    Thinking tangentially, given the future of voice search (I am sure you will agree voice search is a huge thing), just curious to know your opinion how they stack up in backlinks.

    I might be completely off on this topic, please pardon my ignorance. I am just dipping my foot in the huge ocean. Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for your time.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Sankara, I’m glad you liked today’s post. I actually haven’t tried Alexa’s SEO stuff before. I have to check it out. Re: voice search, I don’t really think it affects backlinks too much.

  4. Scott Jacob Avatar Scott Jacobsays:

    I agree. Another great post Brian.
    Could you add a quick ‘possible stack’ of services to each of your checklist bullets towards the bottom. It couldn’t be perfect for each client, but it might be a good starting place for those looking for a service.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Scott. I might add that in the future. As you said, tough to do because everyone’s needs are very different. But I’ll look into it for sure.

  5. Alex Avatar Alexsays:

    Best guide! Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Alex

  6. Hi Brian, is the “Guest Post Tracker” just for the blogs in their database, or I can add in mine, acting as a CRM for Guest blogging?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Cyrus, it’s designed to find and organize guest post opportunities. So it’s not ideal for managing inbound guest posts.

  7. @brian,

    How about SemRush – for competitor’s research and backlinks checking?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      SEMRush is great for keyword research. It has a link analysis function that’s pretty good. But I look at it more as a keyword tool.

      1. @brain
        Thanks for replying, For now, My fav. tools are ahrefs, moz, gtmatrix & raven tool 🙂

  8. Kas Avatar Kassays:

    A very neat list and I personally can’t imagine doing the bloggers outreach (research) without Hunter, but it also seems like you perhaps forgot to include in your list Nightwatch.io as a powerful SEO tracker 🙂

    Are you going to use all of them in 2019 too?


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Kas, I agree: Hunter is legit. But I tried to focus 100% on tools dedicated to link building.

      1. Ah, fair enough. I actually might give Pitchbox a try, heard only good things about it 🙂

  9. This is a great post for SEOs. Will try out some suggested tools tonight. 👍

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Wallace. Let me know what you think

  10. Rita Avatar Ritasays:

    Great list, Brian! Ahrefs, Pitchbox, and Hunter.io are all fantastic tools for link building. I’ve added Nightwatch into my toolkit as well. Super intuitive and accurate SEO tool that you should check out. 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rita. I’ll check it out.

  11. Great list Brian! Thanks for all the breakdowns, esp that last summary! I’m pricing out my options now and this was a godsend.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Suzanne. Keep me posted on how things go.

  12. I love this guide! I’m considering purchasing Pitchbox for email outreach for backlinks, but not sure if I’m ready for the commitment. Is there something comparable in features that you highly recommend?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks David. In my experience, every platform has pros and cons. But PitchBox is legit. That said, it ultimately depends on your business, outreach budget etc.

  13. Dear Brian,

    I have a question regarding your second tool Guest Post Tracker. When i try to visit the site (from the Netherlands) i seem to get an error (Error establishing a database connection). My question is if this tool is even available in the Netherlands, and if so does is support the Dutch language?
    Thanks in advance.


  14. Hey Brian! Great piece of content, as always!

    You have lots of people in Brazil reading your articles and following your tips. Awesome work, congrats! =)

    Question 01: As I’m from Brazil, do you know if these tools are good to use in Brazilian Portuguese as well? If not all, which ones are the most broad ones?

    Question 02: Do you have any other tool that shows topic besides Majestic?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Gabriel. 01: I’m not sure. 02. Not that I know of.

  15. David Avatar Davidsays:

    Hi Brian – great article. Of the linkbuilding outreach services (i.e. Pitchbox, Group High, Ninja Outreach, BuzzSumo, BuzzStream) – which are the two you’d recommend?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks David. It’s tough for me to say because it depends a lot on whether or not you have a team of people doing outreach (and if so, how many), how many emails you send etc. But in general, I think Pitchbox and BuzzStream are both great.

  16. Which would you choose for your SEO agency if you had to make a choice today, Brian? BuzzStream or Pitchbox?

  17. Carlo Avatar Carlosays:

    Hi Brian
    Just thought I’d let you know that you may want to update your Pitchbox pricing. It has recently gone up and their most basic plan now starts at $500/month and they require a minimum commitment of 1 year. I.e. $6000.

    Thought this was quite steep for what they’re offering so I went with Buzzstream instead.

  18. It’s a great list, but I couldn’t find an appropriate tool that fits my purpose. I need a web-based platform (or if not possible, desktop software is okay) to manage my link building campaign. It must allow me to create a new link building campaign, manually add links and notes, as well as update the status of those links.

    Do you know any tool that I can use?

  19. Thanks as always Brian this is a great list. Hunter.io is without a doubt an ace up my sleeve.

  20. I have noticed That Some Links appeared in Google Search console but not in ahrefs?

    Second! In ahrefs, I can see some backlinks are not indexed by Google but still ahrefs can show it.

    How is this possible?

  21. Hi Brian,

    How about LinkResearchTools?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Robert, I need to give LRT another try. It’s been a year or two.

  22. Thanks for sharing this great list of link building tools! Your blog is amazing resource for entrepreneurs!

  23. Ray Avatar Raysays:

    Hi Brian,

    Great list, I especially liked that you highlighted your favorite feature and provided pricing for each tool.

    I was wondering what’s your personal favorite outreach tool? Is it NinjaOutreach, BuzzStream, GroupHigh or Ptichbox? Or something else?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ray. It depends on the scale that you’re doing outreach. Or whether or not you’re working with a team.

      1. Ray Avatar Raysays:

        I appreciate your response. I will be working with a small team 2-3 people altogether. And we’re just starting out. So the scale will be small, probably less than 500 people on the list.

  24. But as per Google Search Engine Optimization guide these would be called “Link Farming”, isn’t it?

    Your Skyscraper technique makes sense. But any kind of link building is Link Farming.

    It’s doing Link Farming that google doesn’t care about, what are your thoughts?

  25. Hey Brian, I took your advise and subscribe Ahref. Start building links using the backlink feature but I have a concern regarding about the “Link Farming”. Is Google going to penalize this?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Evans, It depends on what you mean by link farming.

  26. Zhang Avatar Zhangsays:

    Hi Brian,
    I want to use Ahrefs for backlinks, SEMrush for keywords, Buzzsumo for the content explorer.
    Besides, I am using big spy, spyfu, mangools, hope to find if they are useful or not.
    Could you give me some advises that those tools are enough? and any other tools are a must?
    Thank you!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Zhang, that sounds like a pretty legit tool stack. I can’t say you’re really missing anything.

  27. I like all of your posts, a lot actually! I have even used your template for the guides in my own site, and it is doing great so far. Thanks to you!!

    I have a question here, in SEMRUSH, there is a link building tool, it is the only tool that I know, that I really like – What I like in it? Is it simply brings up prospects after adding keywords, then it brings you the email addresses for you to email them, and finally track.

    I find it easy this way as it is all in one, and I don’t have to use several tools, like Ahrefs to get the links, and then use another tool like Buzzstream to send and track emails, from what I understood from your guide.

    My question is here is there any other ONE TOOL only that I can use to find the links, send emails through it and track them other than SEMRUSH.

    Many Thanks,

  28. Hi Brian, really cool post!

    I just wondered if you know any JustReachOut version in Denmark? Or is it possible to use across the world for Danish reporters as well 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Thomas. I’m not 100% sure about that. Their support would be able to answer that better than I would.

  29. We have been using Pitchbox for two years, hands down it’s been a game changer and helped us to scale our Link Building Agency. If outreach is a core component of your offering the Pitchbox is the best.

  30. Hi Brian. Good job. But I have a question. I use ContentKing for real-time SEO Auditing and Content Tracking. I use MarketingMiner for keep track of how my site evolves in time (and 50 other tools). I use Sitebulb for website auditing. And now I need something to build backlinks. The budget is small. Is there a good cheap tool for backlinks only? You don’t mention SEO SpyGlass from link-assistant.com? Or kwfinder.com from mangools. Thank you for the advice.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Martin, I’d take a look at Mangools. It’s not bad for the price.

  31. Hi Brian,

    Great list. We’ve recently come across a link building tool called Respona. Would love to get your thoughts on it?



    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Emma-Jane. I’ve never tried that tool. I’ll have to check it out.

  32. Just want to mention that Nightwatch might be worth a mention. It’s a really nice and sleek tool.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Good suggestion, Mette. I haven’t used Nightwatch in a while.

  33. Hi Brian,
    Are you aware of any alternatives to AlsoAsked? It’s been under maintenance for quite a while….

  34. Jake Avatar Jakesays:

    Any thoughts on BacklinkManager?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Haven’t tried it.

  35. Are there any good tools for backlink management and preperation? Excel is good and all, but I miss something to create lists of backlinks for new clients, follow what links are created (citations etc.)

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